17th July 2018
She doesn’t want what is easy. She doesn’t want to spend her nights going where everyone else goes. But she is always searching for her community. Those lost souls who also feel like they were born in the wrong time, to the wrong family and in the wrong place. She’s been born into a privilege with a particular kind of freedom, but she has rejected it for a freedom she thinks she’ll find with strangers in fields, woods, quarries or warehouses. The euphoric rave scene of the late ‘80s shouted to her. She missed the spirit of the free-love ‘70s, but always craved the abandonment that it suggested, but this movement was more hedonistic with even more indulgence. It wasn’t for everyone either. You had to search it out, know someone who knew someone who could take you there. No judgment, no questions, just the unification of a conscious.
It is her launching herself into the energy of other subcultures and thrill seekers that pulses through the McQ Autumn/Winter 2018 womenswear collection. Though the experience was never about fashion, the anti-fashion statement became a style proclamation of its own. Ease of dressing is key. Patchworked military uniforms and khaki workwear form a powerful foundation, leaning to the idea of a new-age traveller, each piece with a story to tell. Layered with oversized knits and tweeds, designed to elongate and envelop the body, adopting elements of the Grunge scene that was emerging thousands of miles away as laser beams shot from the stage in a UK county. The rave flyers that inferred where the next free festival was, inspires the pop-coloured graphics that underpin the collection, while the iconography is reimagined as badges on sweats. Surrealist prints from posters are combined with a ‘70s romanticism silhouettes and lingerie lace. McQ’s signature leathers are shrunken and studded, or reversible shearling lined flight jackets. But no ‘90s rave was without its Acid House emblems and tones, as the acid smiley face and bunny in Hyper colours are subdued in floral and tromp l’oeil lace prints.
The bright blur of the free festival party revolution infuse the music and fashion scenes with an urgent energy and freedom of movement. Making sure that everyone, regardless of where they came from or what they want, is moving to the same ecstatic beat.